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Quick deadline for UM committee reviewing programs - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Quick deadline for UM committee reviewing programs

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MISSOULA - The University of Montana is continuing to work on growing enrollment and cutting spending while at the same time taking a look at prioritizing all 415 UM programs.

The Academic Programs and Administrative Services Prioritization Committee, appointed by President Sheila Stearns, has been holding a series of meetings to categorize programs from "strong" to "not suitable."

The committee is working on a short deadline, as they started this process less than a week ago and have until Nov. 8 to wrap up their work. Panel member Associate Professor of Theater John DeBoer said working at such a fast pace has presented a few challenges.

"It's a really humbling process to know that you have to make a big decision and your going to have to make important recommendations, but you are also going to have to acknowledge the challenges inherent in coming to these conclusions," Associate Professor of Theater John DeBoer said. 

DeBoer said the evaluations of programs is a balance between numbers and narrative; as of Nov. 4, the panel had placed 19 programs in the bottom category.

Associative Students of the University of Montana President Braden Fitzgerald said despite the speed of this process his main concern is the communication between the panel and students.

"The committee has had to make impromptu decisions because we're building the process as were going," ASUM President Braden Fitzgerald said. "I think at every step we've sad, "Are we being transparent and are we being reliable to the University?" That's what the students really care about is are the decisions being made in a really ethical way.

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